Examining Discourse on Disability

1493 WordsFeb 23, 20186 Pages
Many disabled writers often visit the topic of their own disabilities, as well as the role of disability in their lives and in American society. This is exemplified in the works of Nancy Mairs, Andre Dubus, and Harriet McBryde Johnson, who not only reflect on their own disabilities, but on how the subject is treated by our culture. They all seem to share the idea that disability is either misrepresented or incorrectly perceived in popular culture, and in Mair’s case, perhaps not significantly represented at all. However their focus differs, as Mairs emphasizes the representation of the disabled in media, while Dubus and particularly Johnson look at it on a more personal level. The latter two focus much more on how the handicapped are perceived on a day to day level, in contrast to Mairs’s assault on how the media represents them. However, Dubus seemingly falls in the middle, as he touches upon both the representation and perception of disability. Also noticeably different is that their outlooks on their own disabilities vary; Dubus believes it has taken a major toll on his life, while Johnson finds it merely to be a superficial adjustment to life, and Mairs then falls somewhere between the two. Despite these differences, their writings overlap in multiple ways. On a basic level, each of these writers believe that disability is perceived incorrectly by American society. However, as stated, Mairs focuses on media’s treatment of disability, whereas Johnson examines the issue
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